Sacramento, CA

Child porn case moved to Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (The Update) — A federal child pornography case was moved on Tuesday to the Robert T. Matsui courthouse in Sacramento after a judge in Tennessee determined that the defendant, Andrew Calhoun, should be tried where he lives.

Calhoun, 45, was charged in February with one count of transporting child pornography in interstate commerce. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

He allegedly served as a moderator of a Kik chatroom called “The Pleasure Dome”, where members shared and viewed imagery and videos of child pornography, using the screen-names Peanut’s Daddy and North925.

According to court papers, the man shared at least 3 videos of child pornography to an undercover FBI agent in Tennessee, who was present in the same group chat. The images included depictions of infants being anally raped by adult men. Authorities also say he was given access to a 50-gigabyte child porn trove by a man named Juan in Michigan, and admitted to sending explicit images to a teenager in Florida.

When officials served a search warrant on his home in Sacramento, according to court documents, Calhoun admitted to distributing explicit content in the Kik chat and linked himself to the previously-mentioned usernames.

Calhoun was initially indicted in Chattanooga, Tennessee – the location of the FBI agent who received the explicit content Calhoun sent. District Judge Travis McDonough ordered the case moved back to Sacramento following some wrangling between the US Attorney’s Office and Calhoun’s public defender at the time, Myrlene Marsa.

Marsa initially raised the motion to have the case transferred because her client lacked the means to travel to Tennessee, and he, his family, and any likely witnesses he planned to call lived in Sacramento.

Assistant US Attorney James Brooks objected to the motion, arguing that a transfer would be inconvenient for the government and that Calhoun was attempting to dodge accountability for his alleged crimes.

“A person who sends images of infant rape throughout the world should not be permitted to limit their accountability to the courts in their hometowns,” he said.

If the motion was denied by the judge, Marsa would’ve moved to withdraw as Calhoun’s lawyer. She said Calhoun had been growing increasingly dissatisfied with her and was also taking secondary legal advice from his father. That rift, she said, destroyed their professional relationship beyond repair.

A public records check by The Update revealed the presence of another account possibly operated by Calhoun on Twitter, @North325, which also contains pornography – allowed under the company’s guidelines as long as the conduct is consensual.

While the Twitter account doesn’t currently host any videos involving children, its operator appeared to be the same user authorities allege was Calhoun in the Kik group. In a tweet, the user referred to himself as “Peanut” in an attempt to contact another user. North325 uploaded over 20 images depicting nude men and retweeted hundreds of videos showing men involved in sex acts.

Calhoun has pleaded not guilty and his trial will move forward in Sacramento, where he’s currently out on bond.

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Ethan Biando is a freelance crime reporter.

Sacramento, CA
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